GLASGOW – Conor McGregor criticized referee Robert Byrd’s stoppage of his bout with Floyd Mayweather immediately after his defeat to the undefeated boxer.
On Friday night in Glasgow he went further, lambasting Byrd’s action during the fight, immediately before the fight and even the company the Hall of Fame referee keeps outside of the ring.
The UFC lightweight champion only was made aware that the referee was married to controversial judge Adalaide Bird, who was suspending following her scoring of the Gennady Golovkin versus Saul “Canelo” Alvarez fight.
“Adalaide Byrd’s husband Robert Byrd, that’s all I’ll say on that,” McGregor replied when Caroline Pearce asked him how he felt about the 10th-round stoppage in the Mayweather fight. “That’s her husband.”
He continued, explaining his feeling on the initial face off with Mayweather before the fight, in which Byrd had to give both competitors a rundown of the rules. He also criticized the referee’s physicality when separating in the two fighters in the clinch.
“When we came face to face and we were doing the rules thing, he was only staring at me. I’m looking at him staring at me and I could see in my peripheral vision that he was looking at me and not looking at Floyd,” he said.
“I was going to say, ‘He’s fighting as well, mate. Give him the f**king rules. I don’t know, what was going on there?
“Every time we tied he literally wrestled me off him. It is what it is, I knew I wasn’t going to get a fair shake out there.”
Considering the stoppage, McGregor remarked that Byrd had jumped in “at the first sign of a wobble”.
“I thought it was an early stoppage. How the f**k can you stop a fight if there were no knockdowns or nothing previous?” he asked.
“The round before that I almost had him dropped. I hurt him to the body in the round before. How the f**k can you stop it like that at the first sign of a wobble? You’ve got to let these fights go on.”
McGregor did not go as far as to take the victory away from Mayweather’s based on Byrd’s performance, conceding, “I got beat in the rule set.”
However, he did say that his suspicion of what happened in the ring against Mayweather was elevated when he heard about Adalaide Byrd’s temporary suspension.
“The referee was a weird one now the more I look back on it. Especially after Adalaide Bird had that thing with the Canelo and GGG fight, that was her,” he explained.
“Adalaide and Robert Byrd are husband and wife, that’s a bit weird, that’s when I started looking back on the fight.
“Why did he not give (Mayweather) instruction? Why was he staring at me? He had a vendetta against me straight off the bat. Early exchanges in the tie up, instead of just separating he would reach around and pull me away.
“That takes energy away from me. I started getting – not paranoid – but I just started analyzing the whole thing a bit deeper. I felt like I got the short end of the stick here.”